STEVEN GERRARD will take away “a lot of positives” from today’s friendly victory over Lokomotiv Tashkent here in Dubai.
The Light Blues ran out 6-1 winners at the Sevens Stadium to round-off a week of hard work in the Emirates sunshine, with Gerrard pleased his men were able to play the game at a good tempo.
“That’s what we asked for,” he told RangersTV. “We asked them to try and show what we have been working on all week – our organisation out of possession and then what we do when we regain the ball which is to play at a speed that makes it really uncomfortable for the opposition.
“So I thought in both halves, there were a lot of positives. I was more-pleased with the second-half performance and shape and it is funny, football, as some people grab opportunities and some people probably push themselves further away and that’s what’s happened today.
“I think the idea behind it was to finish a tough week off. The lads have worked ever-so hard and the legs are heavy – it’s a bit of a mini pre-season if you like this week with a lot of running and a lot of hard, physical work.
“We wanted to give them a game so we can share 45 minutes between them to knock the cobwebs off and get them ready for Stranraer next week.”
Academy players Nathan Patterson, James Maxwell and Kai Kennedy all got game-time this afternoon, with Gerrard continuing: “I am certainly one that wants to give them an opportunity and they have done themselves no harm tonight.
“I think you can see clearly there is still a lot of work to do and a lot of development to do. I’ll be speaking to Craig Mulholland when we get back to talk about how they’ve done over the course of the week.
“I think they have behaved themselves really well and represented the Academy really well. Some have been stronger than others, but I think it has been a real, big week for them in terms of learning and seeing how the first-team behave on and off the pitch.”
Reflecting on the week as a whole, the manager said: “We have had a real, strong week and again a chance to live with each together so we can connect, and the team spirit and camaraderie is strong here.
“Everyone has played and everyone has come through healthy and we are now ready and in a better place to prepare for Stranraer – that’s the most important thing about it.”
Meanwhile, the Light Blues were backed by a huge support in Dubai this afternoon with the manager adding: “It was fantastic and it’s been like that all week. We had an event yesterday with over 300 people and I believe we could have sold it 10-times over – that’s Rangers and that’s the size of the club.
“It’s an institution everywhere we go whether it be Russia, Germany or here in Dubai they come out in their numbers to get behind their team and it was fantastic to see.”